President Donald Trump’s new immigration ban hit a big road block as it was put on hold Wednesday night by a federal judge in the state of Hawaii. The ruling came in hours before it was scheduled to take effect. The judge believes the executive order discriminates on the basis of nationality.
During his rally in Nashville, President Trump addressed the new ruling by stating, “We’re going to win. We’re going to keep our citizens safe.” Trump continued, “The need for my executive order is clear.”
The effect of the ruling — which applies nationwide — is that travelers and refugees from the six banned countries will be able to travel to the US.
According to Fox News, the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson prevents the executive order from going into effect, at least for now. Hawaii had requested a temporary restraining order.
“Enforcement of these provisions in all places, including the United States, at all United States borders and ports of entry, and in the issuance of visas is prohibited, pending further orders from this Court,” Watson wrote in his ruling.
The ruling came as opponents renewed their legal challenges across the country, asking judges in three states to block the executive order that targets people from six predominantly Muslim countries.
More than half a dozen states are trying to stop the ban, and federal courts in Maryland, Washington state and Hawaii heard arguments about whether it should be put into practice early Thursday.
Hawaii also argued to the court that the ban would prevent residents from receiving visits from relatives in the six countries covered by the order. The state says the ban would harm its tourism industry and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.
In the state of Maryland, attorneys told a federal judge that the president’s executive order still discriminates against Muslims. To the contrary, DOJ attorneys argued that the executive order is significantly different than the original order. “It doesn’t say anything about religion. It doesn’t draw any religious distinctions,” Jeffrey Wall, who argued for the Justice Department, said in court.
The Maryland lawsuit also argues that it’s against federal law for the Trump administration to reduce the number of refugees allowed into the United States this year by more than half, from 110,000 to 50,000. Attorneys argued that if that aspect of the ban takes effect, 60,000 people would be stranded in war-torn countries with nowhere else to go.
According to Fox News, in the Hawaii case, the federal government said there was no need to issue an emergency restraining order because Hawaii officials offered only “generalized allegations” of harm.
Jeffrey Wall of the Office of the Solicitor General challenged Hawaii’s claim that the order violates due-process rights of Ismail Elshikh as a U.S. citizen who wants his mother-in-law to visit his family from Syria. He says courts have not extended due-process rights outside of a spousal relationship.
Neal Katyal, a Washington, D.C., attorney representing Hawaii, called the story of Elshiskh, an Egyptian immigrant and naturalized U.S. citizen, “the story of America.”
Wall told the judge that if he is inclined to issue an injunction, it should be tailored specifically to Hawaii and not nationwide.
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